Socialist Worker

'People's Vote' march backs ruling class agenda

Issue No. 2647

Hundreds of thousands marched

Hundreds of thousands marched (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Hundreds of thousands of people—organisers claimed “around a million”—joined a march in London last Saturday calling for a “People’s Vote”.

It saw Tories Michael Heseltine and Dominic Grieve speak alongside Alastair Campbell—enabler of Tony Blair’s lies that launched the 2003 war on Iraq.

Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry represented The Independent Group of ex-Tory and ex-Labour MPs.

Who would gain from a ‘People’s Vote’?
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Also on the march were Labour’s Jess Phillips, Caroline Lucas from the Green Party and Nicola Sturgeon from the Scottish National Party.

They were joined by Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson. His presence was a direct snub and challenge to Jeremy Corbyn, who had kept away from the march.

As with any such large gathering there were many workers present as well as more middle class people. And some were motivated by fears of rampant “little Englander” nationalism and the belief, which is mistaken, that the European Union should be backed by anti-racists.

But one sign of the character of the march was that even such a right wing Labour figure as Watson was booed by sections of the crowd.

Contempt

And many of those interviewed showed their contempt for those who had voted Leave, treating them as ignorant and hopelessly gullible.

Trade unions were almost wholly absent.

The march called for a second referendum between whatever deal emerges from parliament and staying in the EU.

This is an anti-democratic outrage. It will offer no choice for those, like Socialist Worker, who want to leave the EU but not on the terms cobbled together by MPs.

Such a referendum is the preferred option of big business and its mouthpieces such as the Financial Times newspaper.

This is because a second vote gives the greatest chance of overturning the 2016 referendum.

It would enable racist scum such as Nigel Farage, and fascists such as Tommy Robinson, to pose as the upholders of democracy.

It would harden the divisions that plague the working class and make it easier for the Tories and the bosses to rule.

There have been no left-wing demonstrations over Brexit of a similar size to the People’s Vote mobilisations. It’s a tragedy that there hasn’t been a movement based on a working class agenda, not a ruling class one.


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